From the Vault: Early Days Electric, Part 2

Dr. Francisque Crotte uses an electrical machine of his own invention to treat tuberculosis, 1901. Photo by Leemage/UIG via Getty Images

Electricity lost its magic over the course the 18th and 19th centuries. The "invisible fire" steadily transitioned from a mysterious force of wonder to a mundane reality of daily modern life. In this two-part edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the various electrical experiments, stunts, inventions, performances, innovations, occultisms and atrocities that transformed the tractable thunder. (Originally published Feb 11, 2016)

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Outside Content:

"Sparks in the dark: the attraction of electricity in the eighteenth century" by Paola Bertucci

"Therapeutic Attractions: Early Applications of Electricity to the Art of Healing" by Paola Bertucci

"Revealing Sparks: John Wesley and the religious utility of electrical healing" by Paola Bertucci

"Life and Death by Electricity in 1890: The Transfiguration of William Kemmler" by Nicholas Ruddick

Topics in this Podcast: From the Vault, technology, electricity, history